Archive by Author

The Pianist

19 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I have written before about my pianist ability. Yes, I firmly believe God gave me a talent for playing the piano – but He didn’t give me the “gift” – the ability to sit down at the instrument and just….play.  My mother could do that, and many people I know are able to do that.

 

Judy with friend playing on our piano, 1959

 

Yes, I envy them that ability, but not to the point of “why not me, God??”  I just enjoy the music they can make.

Recently, Fred and I took our eighth cruise with the Disney Cruise Line.

 

Disney Cruise Line – the Fantasy

 

Disney (DCL) has become our favorite cruise line. Many things about Disney and the DCL are just a cut above the other cruise lines we’ve cruised with, and we enjoy them all.

One evening, before we went to our supper, Fred noticed there was a “featured” pianist that would be playing on the piano in the atrium,

 

The Atrium – looks like a peacock

 

so we got ready a bit early and went down to listen to him play.  His name is Tim Moss.  As I recall, there was a lot of activity going on – perhaps it was a time for all the princesses to come and have their pictures made with guests, especially children.

 

 

But Tim was playing as background music for it all. He was playing “by ear” i.e. without music in front of him.  He would just segue from one song into another without dropping a beat.  We were one floor above him, and when he looked up, I waved at him, and he smiled.

After a bit, we went down to his level and stood at the piano as he continued to play.  We talked with him a little, thanking him for his great music and ability. Then we went to supper.

We had one other opportunity to hear him play. He was in a smaller room (called Ooh-la-la) and again was playing by ear.

 

Ooh-La-La Lounge – Disney Fantasy – Credit to Google Search and Roger Weeks

 

There were about 15 people in the room, interacting with him, guessing the songs he was playing.  He was having a great time with them.  While Fred and I love music, I’m afraid there really aren’t too many song titles that I know.  But it was fun, anyway.

The final time we saw him, was on our way to supper the last night onboard.  We were the only two guests in the room!  He said that wasn’t unusual, and he expected more to show up later.  And so we just talked.  He is from Vancouver, Canada.  I told him that, as I watched him play, my fingers just don’t go as fast as his do!

And then I told him a story about when our church here in Orlando was presented with a new grand piano.  The donor wanted to be anonymous.  One Sunday morning, early, I was in the sanctuary, probably picking up any trash from the previous Sunday, when I kept hearing a strange sound. I couldn’t find where it was coming from!  My thought was:  do we have mice in the attic?  (I’m not even sure there is an attic there!)   When I heard it again, I finally looked around and found one of our members playing HARD on the piano.  As it turned out, the piano had some “electronic” features to it, and Al had put on his headset – which turned off the sound of the piano – and was playing furiously on the instrument!  His furiously pounding on the keys was what I was hearing!

We all three got a good laugh from that story.

I can’t seem to find Tim on line anywhere. He has played for/with Disney for more than 15 years now, and seems to really enjoy it.  We are glad we had the opportunity to hear him and speak with him.

It’s amazing how God puts us in others paths sometimes.  And I love it!

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day 2019

12 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

Fred and I have been considering what to tell you about our mothers on this, their special day.  We’ve told you quite a bit about them both, and so I will just give you tidbits of what we’ve said before.

Above all else, I must make this statement first – and this comes from both Fred and myself: We both loved our mothers-in-law.  We were each treated as if we were another son (Fred by my parents) or another daughter (me by Fred’s parents), rather than son-in-law or daughter-in-law.  We were loved.

Fred’s mother – Kitty Wills…

            She was funny, cute, elegant, classy, down-to-earth, loved to laugh….

Her father was a Scottish Presbyterian minister… I remember her saying that she loved to hear the bagpipes play – it really got her blood up to a good boil!

She was devoted to her husband and their four children.  Being a U.S. Air Force wife, she moved and traveled frequently.  She had a flair for decorating, and her home was always elegant yet comfortable…They lived all over the world – many places in the United States as well as Italy, Japan, and Hawaii.

She was a great cook. She taught me to make turkey stuffing the “New England” way – with bread rather than cornbread.  She taught me to make German Springerle Christmas cookies – the best I’ve ever eaten!  

She loved to have fun, and was a bit of a cut-up. I will always remember her with me on the beach in northern California, dancing barefoot through the wet sand and kelp.

When Fred and his siblings said something “bad,” his mother, instead of washing his mouth out with soap – would put mustard on their tongues!!  Consequently, none of the Wills siblings like to eat condiments!  Understandable, right?

Fred’s Mother had one little quirk that I enjoyed. After she finished stirring a pan on the stove, or a pot of tea, she would hit the spoon on the edge of the bowl/pot/pitcher in the following pattern:

tap, tap, ta-tap, tap…..tap, tap.

For those of you old enough to remember, it is the sequence for “shave and a hair-cut…two bits.”  I always thought that was cute.

Judy’s mother – Agnes Lites

Mother’s meals consisted often of pot roast – and she could make a roast that would just melt in your mouth!  It would fall off the bone it was so tender.  Dad used to tease her with “this meat is no good – it just falls off the bone!”

I also remember that, if there was any roast left over, mother would grind it up, add mayonnaise and either relish or pickles and a hard boiled egg, and it became a meat salad. Spread it on bread, and you have a lovely sandwich!  She didn’t waste anything!

When my Dad retired and money was tight, Mother bought a Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio, trained for the job, and set to work. She had a really good, strong work ethic.

Although I suspect she would have loved to be a stay-at-home mom, she worked as an accountant at Kirtland AFB, to make money for “extra” things in our life.  She bought a new piano for our house. But one of the best things about her working there, was that she would find young military personnel – usually men – who were away from home and homesick, and bring them to church with us on a Sunday, then home to Sunday dinner. She kept in contact with many of them throughout her time there. One time she broke her ankle and couldn’t climb the steps to her office upstairs. The officials were so insistent that she not “retire” that they placed a desk and lamp under the stairway just for her. They really liked her work.

Credit Google Search and Kirtland AFB website

One of the most unique things is that she met, fell in love with, and married a man who was 20 years older than herself. And yet, the marriage was one that I hoped to emulate with my marriage.  She created a loving and secure home for her husband and her children. She was heart-broken when her husband died.

The little snippet of information below is a real insight into her life.  I think it was a testimony to the way she lived her life, and the way she saw life.  It certainly makes one take notice about the wisdom of the words.  I found this in her Bible following her death.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY 2019

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Puzzles-Part 2

5 May

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I’ve written before about puzzles, and how much we enjoy putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Our Karen and Brian have given us some that we had really enjoyed.  This is a Disney puzzle they gave us.

 

 

Last year it was of a bunch of Norman Rockwell pictures.

 

 

This past Christmas they gave us one that held three Bev Doolittle pictures on it.

I’ve been enthralled by Bev Doolittle’s artistry for many years now.  Some of that interest is because of the subject matter she has – Southwestern/Indian.  Since I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, all of that is interesting to me.  I have some of that same flavor around our house.

Each Christmas in past years, I have requested a Bev Doolittle calendar from one of our daughters, to hang in our home office, where I can see it every day. Those calendars have become more and more difficult to find.  And last December, when checking it out, I found that they have stopped producing Bev Doolittle calendars, much to my sorrow.

So it was a bit of a surprise to find that Karen and Brian gave us the Bev Doolittle puzzle!  As I said, it held three different pictures, one was fairly small – only 100 pieces. (can you find the Indian in the picture?)

 

 

The “middle” one was larger, with 300 pieces.

 

 

And the large one was 500 pieces.

 

 

We were able to get the 100-piece picture together fairly quickly.  And we were quite pleased to find that Brian had put together the “frame” of the 300-piece puzzle when they were here in February for Fred’s surprise birthday party!  That really helped!!  But it took us a VERY long time to get the frame together for the 500 piece puzzle. Brian!  Where are you???  But Fred was finally able to get it together, and we proceeded.

It was fun…it was time consuming…it was frustrating…but we managed to enjoy every minute of working on it.  We took about three months to finish them all, but we finally did.  What an accomplishment!

As I mentioned in the other article I wrote on puzzles:

Fred parents lived in a retirement facility for several years before they passed away.  One of the interesting things about that facility was that puzzles were left out on tables in the hallways.  Any of the residents could come and “pick up” just where the last person had left off, at any time.  I thought it was a wonderful way for them to keep their minds sharp while trying to do the puzzle.  It was also an entertainment for them.

And so, I wish you a joyful time working a puzzle.  It truly is FUN!

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Some Random Thoughts-Part 4

28 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 Each Monday evening, Fred and I have dinner with a couple of friends, Pam and Richard.  We had worked with Pam when we were both working at the church.

 

Then we retired from that, and she went on to another position.  I insisted that we should have dinner together one night each week, just to keep up our “social” times.  We have been doing that for many years now.  It’s one of the highlights of our week.

Recently as we were eating and talking, we all began to reminisce about our “early marriage” days.  They were usually filled with some hardship, but looking back on them, they weren’t all that bad.  And filled with lots of fun and love.

I remember telling them about our first apartment in Fort Worth, Texas.  It was part of a six-plex unit, built like a squared-off “U” shape.

 

 

 

The four units on each side were what we called “efficiency” units – essentially three rooms: a kitchen, a bathroom, and one room that was bedroom/living room combination.  Some had a fold-out/sleeper sofa.  Ours had a bed.  It was furnished, sort of.  It had the bed, a small chest-of-drawers, a love seat and one chair.  There was a small space heater in that room.  The kitchen had the stove, refrigerator, table and four chairs.  We had one window in the livingroom/bedroom and the “front” door.  There was a window in the bathroom, and a window and door in the kitchen.

 

Boy! was I skinny! Shows the front door and window

 

It was a good thing we had two windows, as the place was NOT air conditioned! You must understand – we had come from dry humidity New Mexico to VERY humid Texas!  And so, one of the first purchases we made was a 20″ window fan. We could screw it into the window frame in the kitchen, so that we could close the window behind it.  But it was so hot and humid, even at night, in Fort Worth, that we would turn the fan on “exhaust”, open the front window, and let the exhaust fan draw the breeze through the bedroom to the back window. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked.

Credit Google Search and Sears

 

I worked in air conditioned buildings, and Fred went to school in air conditioned buildings.  So it was pretty difficult to come home to no air conditioning and have any kind of comfort. Consequently, when Fred needed to study, we would usually go over to the Seminary library and he would study there. I would take a book and read.

 

Scarborough Hall, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

We managed to exist in that environment for the four years we were there.  It certainly made us appreciate any housing we were able to live in that was air conditioned!

I’ve read that the invention of air conditioned houses has been the downfall of people not knowing their neighbors.  I can see how that would happen.  In days-gone-by, in the heat of the evening, people would sit on their front porch and watch the world go by – and their neighbors.  They would wave, and start a conversation.  That just isn’t done much anymore.

But I surely do enjoy my air conditioned house!!

 

 

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Happy Easter 2019

21 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!  The LORD has risen…. He has risen indeed!!

Glorious morning – the morning our Lord rose from the dead – defeating Satan and death, and providing a way for us all of us to spend eternity with Him! 


The stone is rolled away – from a Lutheran Church in Panama City, Florida, 1975

But He also provided us a way to live successfully in THIS life!  Having troubles?  Look to Jesus:

In this world, you will have trouble,

but TAKE HEART!  I have overcome the world!!

John 16:33

I really love that verse!  Take Heart…I have overcome the world!  No matter what you are going through, if you are God’s child, you can overcome the trouble – and have heaven to look forward to, with Jesus, and all those who have gone before you.  They are keeping an eye out for you, you know.  Oh wow, I can’t wait!

With the situation in the world today, I sometimes despair for our country.  It has changed so much from when I was a child – 


Bill and Judy Lites, in our front yard, 1946



Bill and Judy Lites, with our Daddy, by our back door, 1948


Bill and Judy Lites, clowning around, 1949



The Lites family  – 1952 – in our living room


The Lites family, 1956 – in Aunt Jessie’s house

and from when my children were growing up. It was so innocent in my time. But then there are a couple of verses that I have memorized and praise God with that comfort me:


Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power,

and the glory, and the majesty and the splendor,

for everything in heaven and earth is Yours!

1 Chronicles 29:11

That was King David’s prayer to God, and I claim it regularly.  In addition to all that, I am nearly 78 years old now, and don’t anticipate living a whole lot longer, so perhaps won’t see my beloved country come to ruin.  But I fear for my children, grandchildren, and my new great-grandson.  They will have to bear the brunt of all the world’s woes.  Fortunately, they all know the Lord, and if worse comes to worse, I will see them forever in heaven.

God has made the way for all that to happen. 

I gave a testimony some years ago, in which I said that I firmly believe that if I were the only person in the world, Jesus would have died just for me, so I could be with Him in eternity.  The really wonderful thing is that everyonecan say that same thing!  God loves us that much – He created us to love Him and spend eternity with Him.

Glorious Day – when Jesus rose from the dead! Praise God!  Hallelujah!  

 
 
JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
 
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
 
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
 
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Some Random Thoughts…3

14 Apr

Sunday Memories

Judy Wills

I really enjoy some of the things that flit through my mind.  Well, most of them.  Most of them are fun, good memories.

And then I will find something that brings my mind into focus on things of God and how He has led my life so thoroughly.

Recently, Fred and I were in Cracker Barrel

Credit Google Search and xilusmale

(one of our favorite places to eat), and they had a sign hanging for purchase that touched my heart.  Here’s a picture of it.  What do you think?  It’s just a simple thing, but the message is so powerful.  

It is a reminder that we are responsible for our actions – and our thoughts and reactions to things that happen to us.  We can make ourselves happy or miserable – and those actions (or reactions) will pro-ject into the remainder of the day.

I had a friend once, many years ago, who grew up in rural America.  Life was hard and work was constant.  She married a military man and they had a young child when I knew her.  She told me that she had discovered her attitude toward the day was reflected in her daughter.  If she was down or mad or sad about the day – then her daughter was the same.  But if she presented a happy face and attitude, her daughter was, as well.  And so, she made the effort to present the happy face every day…even if she didn’t feel like being happy that day.  She wanted a happy day for her daughter.  And by doing so, she made the day happy for the entire family.

Wow! What a concept!  It’s so easy to fall into unhappy times and attitudes. But to actually make the effort to be happy – wow again!  

I’ve been trying to memorize scripture lately.  There is so much in God’s word that lifts me up – all those wonderful promises (I’m told there are well over 900 promises in scripture).  Those are for me and my strengthening and comfort. But recently, my heart has been telling me to find and memorize scriptures that praiseGod!  The Psalms are just bursting with praises to God!! But one of my all-time favorite verses of praise is found in Revelation 4:8 ….

 “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” 

Isn’t that magnificent?  It’s an easy one to memorize, and is spoken by the angels around the throne of God, over and over.  They never stop saying it.  May I never stop saying it, either.

And so, I can make weeds, or I can make flowers – as can you. The choice is yours

More next week…

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years   Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.   After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.   She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS…2

7 Apr

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

As I stated last week:  There are times when it seems like I have nothing come to mind to write about.  And then I will have some thoughts flit through my mind and then disappear just as quickly.  Sometimes I can grab hold of some of them and put them down on paper – in this case, on the page in the computer.

That happened recently, and here is what I was able to remember – and it had me jumping out of bed and racing to the computer to get my memories down on paper – well, in the computer, anyway:

I was reading a book in bed before I went to sleep, and in the story, the heroine was trying to make friends with a shy horse – probably an abused and mistreated horse.  So she went into the field where other horses approached her asking for a handout, which she gave to them.  She definitely tried NOT to catch the eye of the shy horse. 


Credit Pixabay.com

As I read that, I realized that I had a similar experience once – but not with a horse, with a dog. 

As this memory goes, we were visiting Fred’s parents in San Antonio, Texas.  They always liked to get their walking exercise by going to Eisenhower Park, just west of San Antonio, and walking there. 


Credit Google Search and Eisenhower Park website

Credit Google Search and Eisenhower Park website
Credit Google Search and Eisenhower Park website

We always went with them when we visited. It had some nice trails and hills to walk along.

This one particular morning, there was a man who was walking with four or five greyhounds, on leashes.

Credit Pixabay.com

Because I love most any kind of animal, I stopped and began to pet the dogs…and they just ate up the attention.  However, there was one who hung back, eyeing me cautiously.

Credit Pixabay.com

The man said that all of the greyhounds were rescue dogs, from the racing circuit.  The dog who was hanging back had been mistreated, and was having a difficult time trusting humans.


Credit Pixabay.com

Therefore, I tried to not push myself on that particular dog, all but ignoring her, but making over the other ones.  As I was beginning to work my way away from the dog crowd, I felt one more nudge of a wet doggie nose on my hand.  Looking down, I realized it was the standoff dog that was nosing her way into my space, and wanted her share of the love and attention. So I made sure that I gave her as much love and petting as she could handle.  

Credit Pixabay.com

The man was amazed that she had come to the group – and me – as quickly as she did.

I felt blest to be able to give that one particular dog my full attention and affection.

And by-the-way, in the book, the heroine was able to make friends with the horse, and they had a long, lovely friendship.

More next week…

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.
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